“New York City business conditions in early 2008 appear to have entered a second leg of the slowdown that first unfolded in the spring and summer of 2007. Business activity contracted at a faster rate in February than in January” as the New York Current Business Conditions Index in the National Association of Purchasing Management-New York’s Report on Business decreased in February to 43.4 from 47.9 in January, the NAPM-NY reported Friday.

The report’s six-month outlook index improved to 47.5 from 44.2, the first time in survey history the outlook was pessimistic — below 50.0 — for two consecutive months. The NY-BCI decreased to 427.7 from 431.0. The NY-BCI is “a cumulative diffusion index constructed from the diffusion index of current business conditions for non-manufacturing businesses in the New York City area. The NY-BCI often precedes local employment trends,” NAPM-NY said. “Moreover, the NY-BCI offers advance information about forthcoming local labor market conditions because the count of local jobs is not available for one or two months.”

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